Dec 282017
Directory documenter/file finder.
File WHAT214.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category File Managers
Directory documenter/file finder.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
WHAT.COM 43678 27113 deflated
WHAT.DOC 16796 5635 deflated

Download File WHAT214.ZIP Here

Contents of the WHAT.DOC file

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.14 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

NOTICE to users of WHAT Version 2.00 !!!!
If you are a user of WHAT Version 2.00, please review the section "Change
History" at the end of this document. In order to use a version of WHAT greater
than 2.00, you will have to rename any existing Directory Documentation Files on
your system before starting to use this new version.

The Directory Documentation File name that is now used by WHAT is the name of
the directory being processed, appended with a .DIR extension.For example, if
you are processing a directory called LETTERS, the Directory Documentation File
will be named LETTERS.DIR.

You can rename your Directory Documentation Files by using the DOS Rename


How to use WHAT without reading the documentation:
If you're like most of us, you down-loaded this program because you wanted to
use it's advertised feature; that is, to be able to add a description to each
entry in one of your sub-directories.

What you DON'T want to do, is to have to wade through a pile of documentation
before you figure out out HOW to use this program.

OK, here's the CONDENSED version of the WHAT Documentation File:

1. Copy the WHAT.COM program to the directory you want to document, or to
any directory that you can access via the DOS PATH command.

2. Change to the directory you want to document. (eg. CD\LETTERS)

3. Execute WHAT. (You will be prompted for a description for each entry in
your directory).

4. Execute WHAT /A (You will see all files in your directory with the
associated description you entered).

5. Execute WHAT /? (This will show you the other processing options of the
WHAT program).

6. Read the WHAT.DOC file sometime when you have nothing better to do, which is
an expanded description of the above five steps.

DOCUMENTATION ???? (Maybe we can set a trend here ??....)

Why use WHAT ?
In the dark about some of the files contained in your directory ? Ever
wonder what that obscure program you added in 1984 called FROG.COM does, and
where it came from in the first place ? Are you afraid to execute that
program CRASH.EXE, because you've forgotten what it does...., but you don't
want to delete it because it really may be useful ? Ever wish DOS filenames
were longer ? Or wish DOS gave you a facility for keeping track of the
contents in your sub-directories ?

If you've answered YES to any of these questions, then WHAT is for you !!


WHAT is a neat, fast program which allows you to give descriptions to programs
out there in your directories.You can view and update them anytime you want.

You can also use WHAT to search your directory for the occurrence of any
literal. For example, executing WHAT PRINTER will display all directory entries
that contain the literal PRINTER in the description you gave to your files,
using WHAT.

The best news is that you can use this program and not pay for it unless you
like it ! I wrote this program to solve my own problems with keeping track of
the contents of my sub-directories, and I want to share it with you. If you
like it and use it, then please send 15 bucks to keep me encouraged to write
more programs, and to reinforce my faith in the "Shareware" concept of
distributing software.

I hope you enjoy this program and find it useful.


Bill Newell
249 Foxden Circle
Naples, FL 33942

What is WHAT ?
WHAT is a utility program designed to help you keep track of the contents of
your disk directories.It will work with DOS 2.0 or later.

The WHAT program maintains a documentation file for each of your diskettes, or
disk directories; and you can attach a description (up to 61 characters) to
each entry in your directory.

Once you have set up your initial Directory Documentation File using WHAT,
then you can use WHAT's search facility to display your description records;
either all of them, or a sub-set based upon a search argument that you

Since the Directory Documentation File is an ASCII file, you can also use your
favorite text editor to access/maintain this file.

The WHAT help screen:
There are no complicated commands to remember; anytime you forget what
options are available to you, just enter WHAT /? and the following help
screen will appear:

>>>> WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility <<<<

Ways to use WHAT:
WHAT - Prompts you for any missing descriptions.

WHAT /U - Prompts you to Update the descriptions of ALL
your files.

WHAT /U FileName - Prompts you for descriptions of your files,
starting at FileName.

WHAT /A - Displays all records in your Directory Documentation

WHAT XXXXX - Displays all records containing XXXXX, where
XXXXX is a sequence of characters (any length),
appearing in either the filename or description.

WHAT /D XXXXX - Same as above, but displays only records where
XXXXX appears in the description.

What /? - Displays this screen.

Creating/Updating your Directory Documentation File:
Set your current DOS directory to the sub-directory you want to work with
and then execute WHAT.If a Directory Documentation File does not exist, then
it will be created, and you are prompted to supply a description for each
entry in your directory. If a Directory Documentation File does exist, then
it is updated to reflect any deletions or additions made to your directory
since the last time you executed WHAT.You are prompted for a description
for any added items, as well as for existing entries that do not yet have a

CAUTION !!!! -- If you have entered descriptions for files in your directory
that are now no longer there, (you have deleted the files, or moved them to
another sub-directory), the descriptions records for these files will be
AUTOMATICALLY DELETED.WHAT will NOT notify you when it deletes decription
records for files that are no longer present in the directory you are

Additional processing options are available, such as WHAT /U and WHAT /U
FileName. Please refer to the Help screen for a description of these

When WHAT prompts you for a description, a screen similar to the following
will appear:

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.14 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

Reading directory: C:\LETTERS
Sorting directory entries
Please enter a description for: WHAT.DOC


Last Description: The Directory Documentation Utility

Saved Description:

F1: Save DescF2: Use Saved Desc F3: Use Last Desc Esc to quit

Editing keys available when entering a description:
The following keys can be used when entering/updating a description:

The cursor left, cursor right, backspace, insert and delete keys perform as
you would expect them to.

The Home key takes you to the beginning of the description.

The End key takes you to the end of the description.

The Ctrl-End keys clears the field from the current cursor position to
the end of the field.

When you are finished entering the description, pressing the Enter key
updates the Directory Documentation File.

Pressing the Esc key processes the remaining file without prompting you for
any more descriptions.This option is useful when you want to enter
descriptions for just a few files in your directory at a time.

There are two additional options on this screen that you may find useful:

WHAT displays the "Last Description" it has read. If you want to use this
as the description for the current entry, then just press F3 (make any
additional changes you want), and then press the Enter key.

You can also press F1 to save a "current" description (before you press
Enter), and recall this description anytime by pressing the F2 key.

You should run WHAT to update your Directory Documentation Files on a regular
basis.This will ensure that your file reflects any additions and/or
deletions you have made recently, and also allows you to readily enter
descriptions for any new items while you can still remember what they are.

Using the WHAT search facility:
Once you have created a Directory Documentation File, then you can use WHAT's
search facility to display your description records.

To see all the records in your Directory Documentation File, enter WHAT /A

Additional search options are available, such as WHAT XXXXX and WHAT /D
XXXXX.Please refer to the Help screen for a description of these options.

When WHAT has found all the records you requested, you see a screen
similar to this:

WHAT - The Directory Documentation Utility
Version 2.14 Copyright (C) by Bill Newell, 1987

Searching for: "WHAT"

File Name D e s c r i p t i o n
------------ ------------------------------------------------------------
WHAT.COM The Directory Documentation Utility
WHAT.DIR Documentation file for WHAT

Home End PgUp PgDn Esc to Quit SortPrint3 records Top of File

The following keys can then be used to change the display:

The cursor up and cursor down keys scroll the display one line at a time.
(The cursor left and cursor right can also be used, if you prefer.)

The Home key displays the first screen of your file.

The End key displays the last screen of your file.

The PgUp/PgDn keys display any preceding/succeeding screens.

Press the Esc key to end the program.

Pressing S (Sort) asks you whether you want to sort by (N) Name or (D)
Description. Then Press N or D to sort the records you have selected.For
users that prefer (F) FileName to (N) Name, pressing the F key also works.
If you are a power-user, and know what it is you want to sort on: N,D,(or F);
you don't even have to enter the S (for Sort) first. Just pressing N,D,(or F)
will do just fine.

If you want a printout of the records you selected, press P (Print).

The remainder of the status line displays the number of records that have
been found, as well as an indication on whether you are at the Top of the
File, Bottom of the File, or somewhere in-between.

Some Limitations:
As with all good things; there are some limitations to the capacities that
WHAT can handle.

Using WHAT to maintain your Directory Documentation Files, you are limited to
1,000 directory entries. Nothing bad will happen if you have more than
that, but just the first 1,000 entries will be processed. (If you have more
than 1,000 entries, you should REALLY consider re-organizing your disk, as
your DOS access time will be abominable !!)....

WHAT keeps all "selected" records in memory (for fastest access). When you
use WHAT's search facility there is a limit of 400 records that can be
stored during any one search. Again, nothing nasty will happen if WHAT
finds more than 400 matching entries, but only the first 400 will be

In addition, should more than 400 entries match your search criteria, you
will see a blinking message on the status line, to make you aware that the
maximum number of selected records has been exceeded.

Error Messages:
I have gone to great pains to make this program as user-friendly as
possible. When an error is detected, you are given a message describing the
probable cause of the error and the remedy to correct the error.

Warranty & Other Stuff:
This program is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either
expressed or implied.

If you find this program useful, and you believe in the "Shareware" concept
of distributing software, a small contribution ($15 suggested) would be
greatly appreciated. It is only with the support of users that software
such as this can be developed, as well as to encourage program authors to
write more nifty stuff !!

Please send all correspondence and contributions to:

Bill Newell
249 Foxden Circle
Naples, FL 33942

Change History:
Version 1.00 1986 This was a prototype version of WHAT. This version was
never distributed.

Version 2.00 3-29-87 WHAT was completely rewritten, and utilizes a number of
Assembler routines for quick performance.
Distributed as Shareware.

Version 2.10 7-20-87 The following changes, suggested by users of Version 2.00
have been made:

If a Directory Documentation File does not exist in the
directory being processed, a message is displayed
informing the user that such a file is going to be
created. The user then has the option of continuing, or
ending the program.

In Version 2.00, all Directory Documentation Files were
named WHAT.DIR.The name that is used now is the name
of the directory being processed, appended with a .DIR
extension. For example, if you are processing a
directory called LETTERS, the Directory Documentation
File will be named LETTERS.DIR.If your directory name
already has an extension, such as LETTERS.LIB, WHAT will
still use the main directory name and the Directory
Documentation File will still be called LETTERS.DIR.

If you are processing the root directory of your disk or
diskette, the Directory Documentation File will be called

Version 2.11 8-03-87 Fixes a minor bug that would report a sequence error when
processing a V2.00 Directory Documentation File the first
time with WHAT V2.10

As an aside: Should you ever encounter the message
"... description file is not in sequence by file name";
remove all heading/footing lines from your Directory
description file and try the WHAT program again. That is,
remove the records at the beginning and end of the file,
that are not description records for the files in your

This error is usually caused by users editing their
description files, and changing the heading/footing
records so that the WHAT program can no longer recognize
them as such.

Version 2.12 10-20-87 Fixes bug that caused a BASIC 5 Error when attempting to
use the "Ins" (Insert) key, when the cursor was at the
last position of the description field.

Version 2.13 3-31-88 Fixes bug that caused the cursor to disappear on a color
monitor, when WHAT terminated.

Added the "How to use WHAT without reading the
documentation" section to the documentation file.

Version 2.14 7-20-88 Using WHAT to documemt a directory that contained a
"-" (dash), such as PC-DNLD, would terminate in an error.
This has been corrected in having WHAT substitute a "_"
(underscore) for any dash found in the directory name,
when formulating the name for the Directory Documentation
File. This will NOT change the name of your directory;
it only means that if your directory contains a dash,
such as PC-DNLD; that the Directory Documentation File
will be named PC_DNLD. Unless you want to use your
favorite text-processor to update your Directory
Documentation File, this change will be invisible to you.

WHAT will now supply a default description when it finds
a directory entry of WHAT.COM, WHAT.DOC, or

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